People who take vitamin E regularly are less likely than those in the general population to die of bladder cancer, researchers report, but it's not clear if the vitamin itself is responsible for the reduced risk or some other lifestyle factor.
Researchers tracked nearly 1 million US adults for 16 years and interviewed them about their diet.
Those who reported taking vitamin E supplements for at least 10 years were less likely to die from bladder cancer, compared with adults who did not use supplements for as long. There was no association between regular vitamin C use and bladder cancer. The results support those of two other reports that showed a link between bladder cancer and vitamin E intake.
Cigarette smoking is known to raise the risk but there are few factors that are thought to prevent the disease.
Vitamin E, an antioxidant, may squelch free radicals--compounds in the body that cause aging and chronic disease by damaging DNA. Alternatively, vitamin E may boost the immune system or prevent the formation of cancer-causing compounds called nitrosamines.
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